ORLANDO, Florida. – More than a year after its announcement, the Japanese restaurant Juju by Susuru is set to open its doors to customers in Orlando’s Milk District in August.
“The soft opening will be in August,” said Lewis Lin, chef and owner of Juju. “After the soft opening, when we’re full, we’ll probably announce the grand opening.”
Juju opens at 700 Maguire Blvd., a building that once housed a Pizza Hut, just across from Fashion Square Mall.
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Juju was first announced in July 2021 and was originally scheduled to open by the end of the year. However, the company said construction has been delayed until February 2022.
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A representative added that he was waiting for the City of Orlando to approve certain permits related to facade modifications.
Construction saw the former Pizza Hut transformed to have the appearance of a Shōwa-style Japanese house.
The interior also saw a drastic change.
“We separate the entire restaurant into three different areas,” Lin said. “Firstly we have a really more upmarket Kappo bar, a chef’s table – six seats, by reservation only, serving 10 courses with an option of premium sake pairing.”
The other sections are a traditional izakaya setting, which will serve drinks and snacks for a more casual dining experience, and another section focused on serving a late-night crowd.
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Lin said he wanted to differentiate Juju from his other two restaurants — Susuru, 8548 Palm Parkway in Orlando’s tourist district, and Jade Sushi & New Asian, 2425 Edgewater Driver in College Park.
Susuru specializes in Japanese street food, while Jade offers a traditional sushi restaurant. Juju will offer a mix of upscale, omakase and casual dining, while contributing to the area’s nightlife.
JuJu in the name of the new restaurant refers to Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound produced by grilled meats, according to a press release.
“The reason for doing this in the Milk District is that I want to bring different concepts and share different kinds of food themes with (the people there),” Lin said.
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